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Partnership Transforms Academic Practice: Authentic Engagement with a Metis Settlement in Alberta, Canada

6th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education, May 2013
by

Alicia Hibbert

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of Partnership Transforms Academic Practice: Authentic Engagement with a Metis Settlement in Alberta, Canada

A Community Based Participatory Research Project
Metis Settlements Life Skills Journey
1. Read questions and collect
stories
.

2. Discuss the
significance
of each story to
pre-selected
themes
(aka "domains of change")

3. Critique the MSC method as a
process evaluation
tool
Preparation
Step 1
Step 2
Engaged Partnership Transforms Academic Practice
Fay Fletcher, Alicia Hibbert, and Fiona Robertson
Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta
Authentic Engagement with a Metis Settlement in
Alberta, Canada
A Three-Part Day
Most Significant Changes Method
1. Participation:

How can we reduce the burden of participation in a research project for community members?
2. Specificity
: How community-specific is the approach? Have we minimized pan-Aboriginal assumptions?
3. Difference:
How are differences
in
culture, age, rural vs. urban lifestyles used as tools?
4. Institutional Issues:
How do we mitigate the institutional barriers to engagement?
Setup - Determining the "Domains of Change"
Most Significant Changes Method
 1. What is a change you have noticed in the
relationship between project partners
?

2. Has there been a change in how you view or
understand the project
and its
outcomes
?
 
3. Has there been a change in how you
understand your role
?
 
4. What has been a change in
your understanding
of the
community
?
 
5.
Can you tell us about a change that has occurred as a result of the project in the community, office, university,

anything that comes to mind?
Questions - Collecting Stories of Change
Most Significant Changes Method
Dempsey, S 2010, ‘Critiquing Community Engagement’, Management Communication Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 3, p. 359-390.
The Story's Significance
Most Significant Changes Method
The Participation Story
Most Significant Changes Method
Novel Finding - Participation
Most Significant Changes Method
1. Participation can occur strategically, based on
individual strengths
.

2.
Equal contribution
does NOT necessarily mean
the same kind of contribution
.

Strategic planning allows the community to know
how to contribute
and allows everyone to
ask the right questions
.
M
aintaining a sense of
structure
(control) can help
reduce the stress
and burden in the community. “Community grounded” does not mean
that everyone should have the same role
or that all decision-making should happen through consensus.


By recognizing that
participation might be a burden in itself
, you can talk about finding a
comfortable space for participation.
This space makes for a strong partnership because members know how individual strengths can relate to individual contributions.
Not all individuals are comfortable making decisions that impact their entire community.
Critique of the Method
Most Significant Changes Method
BENEFITS
Participants define which changes are important
Storytelling is a less formal, more inclusive medium
Group-based

CHALLENGES
The term "Story" can sound like we are collecting lengthy narratives
The term "Significant" can affect the kinds of stories people will share
Stories can be personal
Participants need to agree on the results of the process in order to assign significance - Who is this for?
www.metislifeskills.com
Alberta's Metis Settlements
Process
Step 3
14th Annual Engagement Scholarship Consortium
October 2013
Most Significant Changes Method
Story 2 -
Specificity
in the Context of Policy
Question:
What has been a change in
your understanding
of the
community
?

Stories:
Elders
- the
unexpected
nature of the role of Elders in this particular community
OCAP & CIHR
-
O
wnership,
C
ontrol,
A
ccess, and
P
ossession guidelines from the First Nations Information Governance Centre and
C
anadian
I
nstitute for
H
ealth
R
esearch guidelines

Significance:
Language
- "Aboriginal"
compared
to "First Nations", "Metis", and "Inuit"
Assumptions
- Pan-Aboriginal assumptions applied to a
Metis
context
Full transcript